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Home arrow News arrow General arrow SNOWBOARDER LIFTS SPORT TO NEW LEVEL
Wednesday, 02 June 2004





Student Harvey Robinson could turn his passion for snowboarding into a design dream.

He has been awarded thousands of pounds to develop a new ski-lift.

The lift can take snowboarders as well as skiers and can be adjusted for children and disabled people.

Harvey has received 3,135 from the Audi Design Foundation to work on the lift, which could revolutionise the sport.

The 23-year-old Nottingham Trent University student came up with the idea a year ago while working for Nestle in America. He has been working on it since January as part of his final project for a furniture and product design degree.

He said: "You get to choose your own project. I was in America on placement and there were mountains about 20 minutes away.

"I used to go snowboarding every other night, that's what made me realise how badly designed the lifts are.

"I have been a very keen skier since I was six and started to snowboard at 18.

"In recent years, snowboarding has become the fastest growing winter sport, but the conventional ski-lift design is over 30 years old and needs to be brought up to date so it's easier for snowboarders."

Harvey's design takes elements from chair lifts and surface lifts, which drag skiers up slopes at ground level.

He said: "It's a combination of the best parts of a chair seat, which allows you to talk with the people you are sitting next too.

"It also takes the best of surface lifts which you can get off at any time. It's the next generation of ski lift."

A prototype is now being marked as part of Harvey's degree, but he will continue working on it using the Audi cash.

Harvey, originally from Cheshire, said: "Making full-size mock-ups and doing testing costs quite a lot of money.

"The Audi Design Foundation Grant is a fantastic boost for bringing my project vision into reality. I can now develop my ideas and build a working prototype to carry out testing."

Harvey has ambitions to see his design sold to resorts. He said: "I know Audi are being very supportive and it would be great to see my design become the next generation of ski-lift."

The foundation was launched by Audi UK in August 1997. It is a non-profit-making body which aims to support and encourage young engineers and designers in Britain.

More than 100 grants, worth 500,000, have been given, mainly to students.

Michael Farmer, Audi Design Foundation manager, said: "Harvey is someone who is doing real design for real things. There are more people snowboarding in some resorts than skiing, and Harvey's design addresses that need."


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